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Thread: Problems with vintage Polaroid Material

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    France & Germany

    Problems with vintage Polaroid Material

    Hello Polafans,

    I have been working with the most diverse polamaterials for a long time and buy old, expired films.
    Unfortunately, one can not trust the data of the seller to the "correct" storage of the films.
    So I have now already got several times both completely dry, but also to dampened and thus unusable films.
    Currently I had ordered a single package Polaroid 559 from the fundus of a salesman, which brought quite akzeptabel pictures.
    When I re-ordered further packages with this positive experience, I had to make the most painful experience,
    that the sheets can no longer be properly pulled out of the cassette and tear off the grip strip and thus the sheet remains in the cassette.
    I always clean my cassettes carefully after each use, the rollers rotate freely.

    Did you make similar experiences and do you know a solution how I can reactivate the "system" of the leaf extract,
    in order not to have to throw away the complete film? In complete darkness or in a change- bag, it will be difficult for me to orientate myself.

    Thank you!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Re: Problems with vintage Polaroid Material

    I'll have to reply from memory when I had a similar problem with two packs of 665. The film would not pull through, seemed to stuck somewhere and the white tab tore off. I looked around on the net, you can slightly open the pack in shielded daylight and try to manually pull the top sheet out, but I ended up losing the whole pack. The thing you must not do is pull another tab.

    With the second pack the same thing happened. Because I had opened the first pack I was a little more familiar with the design. Again it seemed that something was holding the sheet. I opened the back in a changing bag, then lifted the end of the pack further from the roller so I could slide my hand under the film sheet to the end by the rollers. Here, I found at one edge a staple holding the sheets together. By trying to pull the sheet a little via the large tab I felt that the staple was the fixing point so I carefully tore (it is just a paper extension of the film sheet) that part of the sheet at the staple to free it. Be careful just to free the sheet about to be exposed not the ones below it.

    You can then re seat the film pack close the back making sure the white tabs are in place and the after exposure I could pull the sheet through to develop it.

    Hope that will help.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Re: Problems with vintage Polaroid Material

    I think the reality of using these old, expired Polaroid materials is that performance is unknown and that failures are inevitable. I still shoot some Pola Type 55, but not every sheet works out.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2015
    SooooCal/LA USA

    Re: Problems with vintage Polaroid Material

    Even back in the day when using sheet pola materials, the chem pods could be dried out, even using fresh film, so even a fresh box might have 50% failures (we were instructed to save the duds, and when you had a box of sheets, you could exchange it for a new box from a pro dealer)...

    If the tabs on the pack film are breaking, the pods are probably dry and hardened, and will not pull through the rollers...

    Steve K

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Re: Problems with vintage Polaroid Material

    I've got a few 4x5 Polaroids I've had in the fridge for 5-6 years. They were old when I got them, but worked so-so. That meaning some flaws and difficult exposures. A few months ago I tried to shoot some more. No joy, couldn't get even an image. The chemicals were made to last a few years. Not decades.

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